It’s been years in the making, and Centre Court’s gleaming new roof is ready to catch the drops as two weeks of world class tennis await. Knowing the English weather however, with the roof installed it will be two weeks of flawless sunshine.
The women’s singles at Wimbledon this year looks to be anyone’s game. The world number one spot has been fluctuating with a new top player almost every three months; currently, women’s tennis is wide open.
World number one Dinara Safina, who looked to be storming her way to a first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, will not be the strong favourite that her ranking suggests after she lost in the final in Paris, and more recently crashed out of s-Hertogenbosch in the pre-Wimbledon WTA tournament. In fact, Safina has never made it past the third round at SW19.
In fact arguably, the Williams sisters, who are second and third in the rankings, will be regarded as more serious contenders for the title. Between them, Venus and Serena have seven Wimbledon titles to their names.
Number four seed, Elena Dementieva, will be looking to build on her success last year at the Championship where she reached the semi-finals.
And 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, ranked 59 in the world following a stint away from the courts due to injury, has been made the number 24 seed following a successful return to action.
Last year’s French Open champion and former world number one Ana Ivanovic will be hoping to win the second Grand Slam of her career. Ranked at number 12 in the world, she made the semi finals at SW19 in 2007.
Another title contender who has slipped down the rankings of late is Jelena Jankovic. The 24-year-old Serb, who was the world number one just six months ago, has never progressed past the fourth round at Wimbledon.
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BIOGRAPHY: Eric Bailly